[image description: collaged text in pink orange & white on purple background, UNSPOKEN WORDS June 3-4 RED RATTLER: performances/workshops/panels/open mic reading space]
oh gosh there has been so much happening lately & i have so little time to think let alone to write anything about any of it. i am running desperately late on a numberof important projects (including salvaging my Honours degree – i have just yesterday managed to get access to Dragon dictation software which i am very much hoping will help with the writing of long essays with dislocated wrists part of that!!)
most recently neglected: my appearance in a series of panels & lectures on at UNSPOKEN WORDS, a festival of stories. the sunday evening session (including a poetry reading from myself) was Auslan interpreted by the excellent Auslan Stage Left. i am quite proud of the accessibility guide i helped develop which is available here.
the program is available here & lists the incredible lineup of artists and panels, including Hani Abdile, Evelyn Araluen, Maryam Azam, Stephany Basia, the Black and Deadly Women’s Poetry Circle, Emily Crocker, Winnie Dunn, Stelly Gappasauress, Isaac Green, Dan Hogan and Stacey Teague of Subbed In, Lizzy Jarrett, Gabrielle Journey Jones, Holly Friedlander Liddicoat, Fayroze Lutta, Paige Phillips, Poesifika, Candy Royalle, Sea, Ella Skilbeck-Porter, Effy Marie Smith, Margarita Tenser, Thelma Thomas aka MC Trey, Bron Watkins, and Joseph Zane. the festival was MC’d and organised by Emma Rose Smith.
i ran 1 solo lecture, was on 2 joint panels, & read some of my poetry in the evening.
[image description: white text on pink and blue background. PANEL – DEFINING OURSELVES FOR OURSELVES]
Defining Ourselves for Ourselves
Maryam Azam, Winnie Dunn, Robin M. Eames
11:15am – 12:15pm, main stage
Can we define ourselves by writing ourselves? We write ourselves, in whatever way possible for our individual needs, so as to create alternatives to single narratives. We need to see ourselves represented by people like us. Too many stories filter the whole world of experience through the gaze of abled cishet white people. This panel discusses the resistant power of telling our own stories, through the symbolic dialogue between living, visibility and text. We ask if and how we can write despite and beyond the dominating gaze of dual invisibility/hypervisibility that often occurs around politicised bodies.
[image description: white text on yellow and blue background. LECTURE – CRIPPING THE LITERARY: FINDING CRIP CULTURE]
Cripping the Literary: Finding Crip Culture, Learning Crip Language
Robin M. Eames
2:30 – 3:00pm, main stage
A fifth of Australians are disabled. So where the fuck are they? Are they at your poetry events? Are you reading their work? Are you listening to their communities? Are you fighting alongside them for their civil rights? If not, why? How do we change that? How can a gig, or space, or culture, be accessible (or not)? What are we overlooking? Why aren’t wheelchair users coming to our non-wheelchair-accessible events? How does disabled culture & community even manifest itself? For few answers & more questions, come to this lecture by Robin M. Eames, a disabled queertrans warrior poet who is only mostly dead.
[image description: white text on pink and blue background. PANEL – QUEERING POETRY: WRITING OURSELVES INTO EXISTENCE]
Queering Poetry: Writing Ourselves Into Existence
Margarita Tenser, Isaac Green, Robin M. Eames
5:00 – 5:45pm, main stage
Three trans, queer, & disabled panellists speak about queering poetry, trans retrohistories, art & intersectional identity, living in ill-fitting worlds & bodies, finding ourselves in stories not made with us in mind, and writing ourselves back into the narratives.
[image description: white text on pink and yellow background. PERFORMANCES – UNFINISHED BUSINESS]
Doors open (and dinner served) from 6:30, performances start 6:45. Main stage.
Hani Abdile, Winnie Dunn, Isaac Green, Robin M. Eames, Lorin Elizabeth, Dan Hogan, Elizabeth Jarrett, Gabrielle Journey Jones, Ella Skilbeck-Porter, Margarita Tenser, Auslan Stage Left
Come one and all to the biggest session of Unspoken Words! Hosted by the wonderful Lorin Elizabeth, this night will feature poetry readings by Winnie Dunn, Isaac Green, Robin M. Eames, Dan Hogan, Elizabeth Jarrett, Gabrielle Journey Jones, Ella Skilbeck-Porter and Margarita Tenser.
Hani Abdile will then present Absent Souls: A conversation with imprisoned souls. This new performance will be accompanied by a Q&A session and Hani’s performance of her own poetry.
This session will feature live Auslan interpretation thanks to Auslan Stage Left!
Dinner will be available thanks to Parliament on King, the social enterprise caterer. Beautiful food made with love. Proceeds from the catering are reinvested into hospitality training programs for locals with asylum seeker / refugee backgrounds at the King St café.
[image description: event poster with a not-quite-complete list of artists, in the style of the featured image of this blog post, described above]
the festival was held at the Red Rattler Theatre, on the stolen lands of the Gadigal Wangal peoples of the Eora nation. sovereignty has never been ceded. always was, always will be Aboriginal land.
i really can’t emphasise enough how utterly awed, delighted, & proud i felt to be sharing a stage with such powerful & beautiful artists, & to have the chance to listen to their words. we did something really special last weekend & it gives me hope.